COMPREHENSIVE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT (CEM): United States. 1978 to date. Comprehensive Emergency Management was first fully articulated as a concept for the management of emergency management programs in the 1978 report of the National Governors’ Association Emergency Preparedness Project. Based on the earlier dual use concept, comprehensive emergency management’s call for an integrated management of programmatic elements rapidly attracted support, especially among those who wished to move emergency management from a civil defense orientation to a more politically palatable and operationally responsive all-hazards approach. The creation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the onset of major environmental disasters, including Three Mile Island and Love Canal, gave impetus to the adoption of this doctrine.
As formally described by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Comprehensive Emergency Management consists of three central doctrinal truths:
--- an all hazards approach, based on an understanding that natural and technological disasters and response to nuclear attack have common elements that make it possible to design programs that will be successful in protecting communities from all three.
--- an emergency management partnership between all levels of government (including federal, state, and local) and the private sector (including business, voluntary organizations, and members of the public).
--- an emergency lifecycle based on the definition of stages of a disaster and the matching of programmatic actions to those disaster stages. This lifecycle has been captured doctrinally as a statement of the Four Phases of Emergency Management.
Hoetmer, Gerard J., “Introduction,” in Emergency Management: Principles and Practice for Local Government, Thomas E. Drabek and Gerard J. Hoetmer, eds., Washington, DC, International City Management Association, 1991, pp. xvii-xxxiv. Drabek, Thomas E., “The evolution of emergency management,” in Emergency Management: Principles and Practice for Local Government, Thomas E. Drabek and Gerard J. Hoetmer, eds., Washington, DC, International City Managmeent Association, 1991, pp. 3-29. United States, Federal Emergency Management Agency, The Emergency Program Manager, IS-1, Washington, DC, U. S. Government Printing Office, 1993.